Excerpt: All Our Promises Kept

This excerpt is from one of my two current “big” stories – long on words, effort, and hopefully promise. I leave you with only inferences. I’ll gladly take suggestions on the title as well.


The weight of their bodies made the mattress creak. All those young limbs, draped carelessly around. All the lovers he’d had before her, all in one place. Beside her, the Ian she knew, phantom though he was, made a small, desperate sound. She reached out her hand, gripping his. “I know. It’s weird for me too.” She felt him tremble. “It’s not your fault,” she said. And she meant it, though feeling it was another matter.


Lydia often wondered about the outside world. It was an inevitable part of being a Tat – you were cut off from the life of your Real, left to wander the halls of memory and wonder at the state of things. Inside his head, they’d stayed together, and been fairly happy. But this was a world of limits as well as wonder. They could never be tempted by others, not really. Sure, either of them could enter a memory and inhabit it for a while, but they could not continue onward from there, could not force the past into a new path toward the future. At worst, it was pornography, unreal because it did not involve or require intent – because it did not involve or require another human being.

She wondered if they could have children, but was scared to bring it up. And anyway, she didn’t know if that would be fair. If their child was True, had a soul or whatever, it would be stuck here, in someone else’s head, in someone else’s life. It seemed more than a little unethical. But it would be nice.

She also wondered how things were going for their twins in Lydia’s head. Would her history be more or less habitable than his?

“Ian, there’s the potential and there’s the inevitable. This world you live in is free from so many things – work, stress, reality, other people. That’s simply served to defer the only end that can come of this. One day, she will become who she has always been; she will reveal herself to you, and you’ll have no recourse, no way to escape. I’m saving you from an eternity of her, Ian.”

“Not with corpses you’re not.” He fell back, like last time, through the humming meat of his mind. Like last time, he threw the totem into the darkness.


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